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Pub. Type Report
Title Law Enforcement Policies and Practices Regarding Missing Children and Homeless Youth
Author(s) Collins, James J.
Powers, Linda L.
McCalla, Mary Ellen
Ringwalt, Christopher L.
Lucas, Robert M.
Subtitle/Series Name Final Report
Pub. Date Nov 1993
Abstract A 'National Study of Law Enforcement Policies and Practice Regarding Missing Children' was conducted by the Research Triangle Institute and the URSA Institute. Data collection involved three components: a mail survey asking police departments across the country about their responses in missing children cases; on- site examinations of 30 police departments to gather more detailed qualitative data and interviews with juvenile shelter operators and other social service workers; and interviews in six major metropolitan areas with parents who had reported a child missing and with children who had been missing but who returned home. This report summarizes the results of the study with an emphasis on the parent interviews. Because the police response is different depending on the circumstances in which the child become 'missing', the report deals separately with cases involving runaways, throwaways, family abductions and abductions by nonrelatives. This reports describes the missing children and their disappearances. It describes the police response in each type of missing children case and the factors that are involved in that response. It looks at parents' perceptions of how well the police handled their cases. It addresses the effect of police action on case outcomes such as the amount of time the child is gone, victimization or exploitation while gone and involvement of the child in illegal activities before returning. Risk factors that make victimization, exploitation and illegal activity more likely are identified and compared with case characteristics that police gave high investigative priority. Implications of the findings for public policy and police practice are discussed and recommendations of interest to law enforcement agencies, legislators and social service agencies are made. source
Issue/No. NCJ 143397
Producer United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Place of Production Washington, DC

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